Indian Summer Festival Opening Gala-28

Last night, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden was transformed into a colourful mix of South Asian glamour, cuisine, and entertainment as the 3rd Annual Indian Summer Festival Opening Gala got underway.

Indian Summer Festival Opening Gala-20 Festival Directors Sirish Rao and Laura Byspalko
[Bottom photo: Festival Directors Sirish Rao and Laura Byspalko]

Several Vancouver Indian restaurants were onsite to greet guests with their small bites, including Café Kathmandu, Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen, Atithi Indian Cuisine, Vij’s, and East is East. Chef Vikram Vij curated the culinary tour and spoke eloquently about both his passion and joy of being part of Vancouver’s vibrant multicultural community.

Sweets from East is East! Fresh fruit, chocolate cherry Firni, rice pudding
[Sweets from East is East!: Fresh fruit, chocolate cherry Firni, rice pudding]

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[A yummy curry plate from Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen]

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[Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen team]

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[Chef Roy from Atithi Indian Cuisine]

Nearly all parts of the garden and its inner rooms were utilized to create a memorable evening for a sold-out crowd of over 350 guests.

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More photos of the event can be found in my Flickr set.

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Vikram Vij fans take note: on July 12, a dinner by starlight is planned starting at 7 pm. The dinner’s secret location will be revealed to ticket holders next week as the event date approaches. Chef Vikram Vij will create a four course meal to honour award-winning chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Celebrity chef Kapoor is known worldwide for his cooking show Khana Khanzana, the longest running cooking show in India, broadcast in over 120 countries. Tickets are $350, available online.

A few key highlights of this year’s festival include:
The Well-Being Weekend
Dates: Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7, 10 am to 4 pm
Venue: SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $35 one day pass; $60 weekend
Experts from India and Canada will lead you through sessions on yoga postures, meditation, pranayama and lectures on health, nutrition and feeling good. Find the Well-Being Weekend schedule online.

Reluctant Rebellions
Date: Sunday, July 7, 8 pm

Venue: SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tickets: $15 for one talk; $20 for both

Join celebrated writer Shauna Singh Baldwin for an intimate evening exploring both her work and concerns. Born in Montreal, raised in India, now a resident of the United States, Shauna has been formed by many cultures. Her ability to keenly observe many worlds has led her to create novels that explore human flaws while remaining compassionate towards her multicultural cast of characters. Together with noted cultural activist Satwinder Bains, Shauna will discuss topics ranging from the struggles of immigrant Sikhs to the roles of men and women in diasporic communities (and the price paid for non-conformity).

Future Society – Where is South Asia Headed?
Date: Wednesday, July 10, 6 pm reception; 7:30 program
Venue: SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $15/$75 (including reception)
Join Sudeep Chakravarti, former Asian Wall Street Journal editor, the man with an insider’s view of the seismic shifts that South Asia has recently experienced. Chakravarti will be in conversation with Jas Johal, Asia Bureau Chief, Global Television as they answer the question: Where is South Asia headed?

Indian Summer Festival Opening Gala-22

Lit & Sound Cabaret
Date: Saturday, July 13, doors at 8 pm; show at 9
Venue: Performance Works, 218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

Tickets: $12 advance; $15 at the door
Note: This is a 19+ event
Featuring an all-star cast of national and international multidisciplinary artists, the Lit & Sound Cabaret is back for a second year of storytelling, poetry, music and stunning visuals. This year’s line-up includes the gorgeous harmonies of musicians Mohamed Assani, Rup Sidhu and Curtis Andrews, the hilarious and inspiring words of Jillian Christmas, Jeet Thayil, Zaccheus Jackson and Anoushka Ratnarajah, Sharada Eswar’s masterful storytelling, and lively beats by Nils (DJ Beats Without Borders).

Indian Summer Festival Opening Gala-30

About Indian Summer Festival
Indian Summer is an annual festival of arts and ideas that celebrates diversity by pairing world-class South Asian talent with local Canadian counterparts. The 10-day festival is held every July at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in downtown Vancouver, and is produced by Indian Summer Arts Society, a local not-for-profit organization whose mandate is to foster cultural dialogue.

Visit the Indian Summer Festival website for a complete schedule.

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